Mike McCarthy Press Conference Transcript - June 18

Read the transcript of Head Coach Mike McCarthy’s Monday press conference. Coach McCarthy addressed the media following Monday’s OTA practice, the second-to-last practice prior to training camp.

(Why wasn't Nick Barnett at practice today?)

Practice was voluntary. We can just get to the incident - Nick Barnett was involved in an incident Saturday night. We have discussed it with Nick, and it will take its due process with the legal department, and we will watch it closely.

(Was today just a review day?)

We had very little going. We had a couple of red zone reviews that was the majority of what we had. We had a couple things in the red zone we added, some new stuff down there. Today and tomorrow is really geared towards young players.

(So the veterans who weren't at practice today won't be tomorrow either?)

Yeah, exactly.

(Have you talked to the league about Nick and are you concerned about repercussions?)

Well, we have notified the league, and we have not heard back from them. They have been notified.

(Do you think he could face discipline under the new conduct policy?)

It's a possibility. Everybody knows the emphasis that is going on at this time, and we'll just watch it closely. I can't control it.

(After tomorrow, do you send the players away from here with a message about keeping their noses clean?)

We talked about it a little Thursday. It's a continuing message. These are part of the lifestyle of being an NFL player, and you've got to be smart out there. First of all, you need to avoid that type of environment, and when you're in that type of situation, you need to diffuse it. We'll continue to talk about those things with our football team.

(Have you spoken directly with Nick, and if so what did you say?)

He just went through the specifics of the incident, and he knows how we feel as an organization. Once again, we'll watch it closely.

(How do you feel as an organization?)

Obviously, we're not looking for our players or any employee of the Green Bay Packers to be involved in those types of situations.

(Is there any added concern because this is a battery charge?)

I'm not going to sit here and go through the specifics of the incident, but there are two sides to every story. I've listened to his, and we'll let the process take its course.

(Do you use this as an example in talking to the players before they leave town?)

We take it very seriously. Anytime you have an opportunity to learn from someone else's experience, you need to take advantage of that. It's an experience that happened here, and we have talked to the team about it this morning and we'll continue to talk to them about it.

(Other teams have had a lot more problems. This doesn't happen often here.)

I agree with you. Is that an opinion or question?

(Could you expand on that, that the organization has stayed that way?)

And that's what we want to continue to do. I know it's only one, but I'm not going to sit here and justify one incident because it shouldn't happen. Those things should not happen, and we need to learn from it so it doesn't happen again.

(How do you balance the role of being a babysitter versus treating the players like men?)

I always treat them like men. I think you just have to be consistent. You gain knowledge two ways: from your own experiences and the experience that is shared from others. You just continue to find different way of communicating and educating, and hopefully everybody makes good decisions. They are responsible for their actions, and we'll continue to emphasize it. Hopefully we all learn from this.

(Can we talk about the training camp schedule?)

I'd love to.

(What's the thought process behind the Wednesdays off?)

Well, you look at the middle of the week, specifically with the two-a-day format, that's really a hump day. So we've adjusted some of our practices, really starting this spring, the number of things we were able to get done this spring gave us the ability to have those three Wednesdays where we only meet and have walk-throughs in the gym at the end, things like that. It's clearly on the rest and recovery, (that) was the mindset there. To be able to do that in training camp - I've never done it before, never been in places and been a part of it, and we put a lot of thought into it and crunched a lot of numbers. I feel it will really help our football team particularly at the end of the year.

(What are you giving up, a number of hours on the field?)

We'll do a little more on the field than we did last year. Our practices are long but once again, when we go down, we only go down once. When I was here before, there was a lot of back-and-forth, go down for special teams practice and so forth. What we give up, it really comes down to about 100 reps when you look at all the numbers and compare it to last year in our format.

(How long will a typical practice be this summer?)

About two and a half hours, maybe just over that.

(Any changes in practice this year, new drills?)

The format will be the same as last year. We had a couple of extra periods that we've added that we've been doing through the OTAs that will also be part of the training camp schedule. We've doing a lot more game situations, ball security drills, and things like that. That will be a change from last year but the structure will look the same to everybody.

(You've been ending practices with 7-on-7. Will that continue?)

That's an OTA schedule. Our training camp schedule will be more like our in-season schedule.

(Do you give players different goals for different times of the year during the offseason?)

You know when I started the OTAs, I put the whole training camp schedule and have gone through the whole schedule in phases on the targets we're trying to hit. We will revisit that again tomorrow in the team meeting and establish what needs to be done between now and training camp and then what we're going to do when training camp starts. I probably overdo the scheduling part of it as far as keeping them organized and so forth but I think it's important to keep the target clear in their eyes. We'll review that again tomorrow like I stated.

(Where are you with your overall program now versus a year ago?)

We're clearly a lot further ahead than we were at this time last year. Over and over again we've talked about the individual improvement, and that's something that's very obvious as you look out there on the football field, the improvement that a number of our players have made since last year. Just the way we practice - our practices are better, and I think that's part of where we are as a football team and how much of the offense, defense and special teams we have in. As of today we have everything in, everything that we're going to use next year is in. We're clearly further ahead than we were last year, and we need to carry this into training camp.

(How does that show up in September?)

Well, the continuity to me breeds confidence. The intensity and confidence is something we have to come out in training camp and in those preseason games and perform well in the preseason games and make sure we're ready to go against Philadelphia.

{sportsad300}(Is Joe Philbin's style drastically different from Jagodzinski's or is there some continuity there?)

I feel we have a lot of continuity because Joe (Philbin) was here in the past, so to me the transition has been very smooth. I think he's done an excellent job of making that transition. As far as his comparison to Jeff (Jagodzinski), their coaching styles are very different, their presentation style and how they interact with the players is different, so they're distinctly different but I've been very impressed with what Joe's done so far.

(Is it tough balancing the contact line in practice considering what happened in Oakland with the cancellation of OTAs?)

It's a fine line because you want the tempo, you want the intensity but player safety is at a premium. That's something we talk about all the time, especially in the spring because we're only in helmets, just to be smart. It seems like once or twice a practice it happens, and we had three little skirmishes today. You can't have your cake and eat it too. It's a fine line, and it really grows with your football team from a maturity standpoint. We need to do a better job of how we practice and how we protect one another out there. The more mature teams do that, and I think we're getting better at it but we still need to improve in that area.

(Will there be any limitations on Justin Harrell when he gets back?)

I would think not. He's done the work after practice with the three other linemen, so he's been doing that through the OTAs. We're just being smart with him. (Dr.) Pat McKenzie still feels that he's close but it will probably take the next two to three weeks until he feels comfortable where he's at.

(Have you seen enough of him from position drills or does he still remain much of an unknown?)

I think you can say that about all of our young guys because it's going to change. As we all know when you get to training camp, we'll be playing real football with the pads and so forth. You learn a lot about the individuals from their movement, foot quickness and leg strength, things like that, but it's a different game when you put the pads on, so that will be the true test.

(Last week Favre compared James Jones to Sterling Sharpe from a physical standpoint - how much do you learn in shorts and helmets?)

Well you can get more information with your perimeter people without pads than your interior in my opinion. But James Jones, he's shown what we saw when we drafted him, and I'm excited about his future. He's a big strong kid that plays with excellent quickness in a short area. You see how he has the ability to really separate from people, and he's always catching the ball with his hands extended. He's a guy that I think when the pads do come on, his play will even be elevated because he's a physical player. He's not an in-space player.

(As you go into your second camp are there areas where you look to get better as a head coach?)

I'm always looking to improve. Areas to improve on, talking about scheduling I think we can always improve on scheduling. As we go through everything, Matt Klein is my administrative assistant, anytime something comes up we write it down immediately. Yesterday we were doing the OTA schedule for next year, just looking at some thoughts I had coming out of this OTA period that I think we can do a better job of just from a time management standpoint. I think I can always improve on that. And just the communication of the game situation, creating more game-like situations because that's what you're ultimately trying to accomplish in your practice environment: get it as close to the game as possible. So I'm always looking to improve on that, improve as a play caller. We can all get better.

(How much of the schemes are installed compared to last year)

100% is in now. Last year we accomplished the same thing, we put it all in in the spring but I think we did a lot better job this year of eliminating things when you go through the scheme evaluation and 'that's a good idea' and 'it fits a certain player' and now you've had a chance to look at it pretty much in a live environment. I think we've done a very good job of eliminating and cutting the volume down as tight as we can get it.

(I know we're getting ahead of ourselves here but as you look at Favre potentially breaking all the passing records, is that something for everyone to enjoy or potentially become a distraction?)

I would think it would be a fun time. I think anytime you're a part of something like that, it's a special time and I think our team would view it that way.

(Where did you get the idea to cut out that time Wednesdays during training camp?)

Well, it really started from me in the offseason program. I had the time to talk to different people about the training of the football team, and we addressed some of that with our strength and conditioning program as far as we're doing more movement drills and core training, things like that. It's interesting when you talk to people in that field, they talk about rest and recovery all day; you hear so much about rest and recovery. It's the anti for coaches because you're always trying to do more. When you see the importance of rest and recovery happen on an individual basis like I've watched it throughout the spring, it's obviously very important for our football team. It's really clearly for that reason, about rest and recovery. To do it on Wednesday, right in the middle of the workload, I think is smart, and we're still able to get everything done.

(How much of the focus is getting off to a good start this season?)

It's clearly the focus. We need to start fast. It's been a problem here of late, particularly last year. Starting fast is very important, and we'll be fresh coming out of training camp especially with us playing at Tennessee on a Thursday night, so no excuses.

(Was rest and recovery an issue last year in the preseason game vs. Cincinnati?)

I was critical of myself before up here when I talked about scheduling, and I thought I overworked our football team that week. I had a number of players talk about their legs going into that game. We actually took the beginning of that week last year and reviewed all of our primary concepts, and then went right into a normal work week because we had a ten day preparation period if I recall, or maybe it was eight days, but we had a little longer than normal. So, in looking back on it, I go back to rest and recovery and that was something I was critical of myself last year.

(Do you feel this schedule is at all a risky thing?)

No, I don't. I'm just operating in the same interest I always am - in the best interest of our football team. I'm not trying to be a guru about scheduling or anything. I think it's going to help our football team.

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